Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (aka Bactrim) is a combination sulfa antibacterial drug used to treat bacterial infections. Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, it is used off-label to treat acne.
Take the medication as instructed by your dermatologist.
DO NOT take this medication if:
- You have known hypersensitivity reaction to sulfa drugs (sulfonamide) or trimethoprim.
- You are pregnant or nursing.
- You have liver or kidney dysfunction.
- You have a history of drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia to trimethoprim or sulfonamides.
- You have megaloblastic anemia due to folate deficiency.
- You have G6PD deficiency.
Tips to avoid side effects:
The most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and allergic skin reactions such as rash and hives. Click here for the full list of side effects.
- You may take this medication with food.
- Make sure to drink plenty of fluids.
Risks to be aware of:
- Although rare, Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim) can cause a very severe drug rash called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. You should stop this medication and message your doctor immediately at the first appearance of a skin rash, especially one involving your mouth or genital region. For severe symptoms, go to the nearest emergency room.
- Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (aka C. diff) can occur with nearly all antibiotics. If you develop severe watery or bloody diarrhea, stop the medication and contact your local doctor immediately.
- This medication should not be taken with methotrexate or indomethacin.
- The medication can decrease the efficacy of tricyclic antidepressants.
- This medication can cause high potassium levels in patients with renal dysfunction or who are taking potassium-sparing diuretics such as ACE inhibitors.
- Stop taking your medication immediately and seek emergency help if you experience any of these effects of a severe drug reaction:
- Fever, sore throat, joint pain, paleness, easy bruising or jaundice. Signs of jaundice include dark urine and yellow tinge of the eyes or skin.
- Unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath and rapid heart beat, which can be signs of anemia.
Stop taking your medication immediately and seek emergency help if you experience any of these effects of an allergic or severe drug reaction:
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Difficulty breathing.
If you become pregnant while taking this medication, discontinue use immediately and message your doctor for an alternative.
This medication should not be taken if you are pregnant or nursing.